BLM oil and gas lease auction brings in over $69,000 |

BLM oil and gas lease auction brings in over $69,000

Bids on oil and gas leases in northern and southeastern Montana brought in $69,118 in an online auction held Thursday, December 8, by the Bureau of Land Management.

Eighty eight parcels encompassing nearly 19,000 acres of federal minerals in Big Horn, Choteau, Hill, Liberty, Phillips, Rosebud, Toole and Valley counties were offered at auction. Bids were received on 33 parcels totaling nearly 7,200 acres.

Windwalker Land Services, L.L.C., of Shelby, Mont., was the highest bidder, paying $107 an acre for a 200 acre parcel in Liberty County in north-central Montana.

BLM oil and gas leases are awarded for a period of 10 years and for as long thereafter as there is production in paying quantities. The revenue from the sale of Federal leases, as well as the 12.5 percent royalties collected from the production of those leases, is shared between the Federal Government and the states.

Potential environmental effects that could result from exploration and development are analyzed before any leases are offered for sale. All leases come with conditions on oil and gas activities to protect the environment that can include limits on when drilling can occur or restrictions on surface occupancy.

Once an operator proposes exploration or development on a BLM-issued lease, further environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act is conducted to determine the site-specific need for various types of impact-limiting or mitigation measures. In addition, many operators routinely use Best Management Practices such as remote monitoring of producing wells and multiple wells per pad to minimize surface impacts.